Reichenau, Field Marshal Walther von, 1884-1942

Reichenau was one of the few Army Commanders who was a definite supporter of HITLER and his Nazi regime. In fact Hitler had considered making him his Commander in Chief of the Army after FRITSCH’s dismissal, but RUNDSTEDT managed to talk him out of this. In 1939 he led the Tenth Army into Poland and then in 1940 the Sixth Army into Belgium, entering Brussels in triumph. In 1941 he led the Sixth Army in the invasion of the USSR and his Army accomplished the encirclement of Kiev, although this took longer than anticipated. After the purge of the eastern Generals in December 1941, following the failure of the offensive against Moscow, Reichenau was made Commander of Army Group South. However he had a heart attack at his Headquarters and died after being flown back to Leipzig—a premature death for such a skillful Commander.

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